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September 11, 2008

Davis-Clark still ailing

Harlon Barnett met with reporters today moments after giving a pep talk to Kendell Davis-Clark, who badly wants to return to the field but whose shoulder won't let him.

    You can count Davis-Clark out of Saturday's game, and then Barnett said MSU expects next week to "hear from doctors about his situation." In other words, is it healing well enough on its own? If not, it sounds like surgery and a long-term absence are possibilities.
    Barnett relayed a story to illustrate Davis-Clark's toughness. He hurt the shoulder tackling Jahvid Best in the opener and the coaching staff ruled him out for the night. But he returned briefly.
    "The thing popped out," Barnett said, "and he wanted to come back in."
    Ross Weaver has been taking reps at safety, although Barnett said he likely won't move from corner this week. If the news on Davis-Clark next week is bad, then you might see Weaver switch. Meanwhile, MSU was much happier with Danny Fortener's play at the position against Eastern Michigan.
    And the Weaver move isn't necessarily a short-term fix only, Barnett said. He has the size and intelligence to play there, and MSU will lose Otis Wiley after this season.
    Johnny Adams' emergence at corner is another factor. Jeremy Ware, too. If Weaver moves, I'd expect one of those two to start opposite Chris L. Rucker. Mark Dantonio compared Adams to Renaldo Hill the other day, and Barnett said he reminds him of former NFL corner Randy Hilliard, a Barnett teammate in the pros.
    "By the time we get into Big Ten action, who knows? He may be playing even more, (maybe) the majority of snaps," Barnett said of Adams.
    As for true freshmen Brynden Trawick and Charles Burrell, Barnett said he expects both to be good players, but doesn't expect either to be ready this season. Safety takes a lot more time than corner to master at this level.
    Dan Enos also spoke with reporters tonight. He indicated that Andre Anderson has improved his standing with Saturday's performance, but that the gap remains small between Anderson, Ashton Leggett and A.J. Jimmerson.
    Asked if he was worried about Javon Ringer carrying 30-plus times a game, Enos gave an emphatic "no."
    "We actually think the more carries he gets, the better he plays," Enos said. "He wears people down."

    Now, a couple event reminders.
    * Here's a press release I got today on a competition aimed at students. You can get on the Big Ten Network's "Friday Night Tailgate" show.
    WHAT:     Every week during the 2008 College Football season, Solo Cup is traveling to a different Big Ten University to host the “Solo Cup Stacking Challenge” at the hottest on-campus locations.

This week, the Spartans will compete to win the title of the fastest cup stacker on campus. The Michigan State University student who out-stacks the competition will win a prize package on behalf of the Big Ten Network and Solo Cup Company.  The winner will also be entered into a drawing at the end of the 12-week season for a chance to win passes and accommodations for the Big Ten Basketball Tournament in Indianapolis. 

WHEN:     Thursday, September 18, 2008, 9-9:30 p.m.

WHERE:  The Riviera Café (the Riv), 231 Mac Ave, East Lansing

WHY:        Not everybody can be a Big Ten athlete but they can go for the title of Michigan State University’s Solo Cup Stacking Champion and try to beat the current fastest time, a record set at University at Illinois, clocking in at 8.47 seconds. Footage from this Thursday’s competition will be featured on Friday Night Tailgate on the Big Ten Network.

MORE      Michigan State University students don’t need to worry if they can’t make it to the Riviera Café. Big Ten students can still get their 15 minutes of fame by submitting a video online at

INFO:          http://www.bigtennetwork.com/fnt/Friday-Night-Tailgate-Solo-Cup-Videos.asp, showing off their cup stacking skills. Some videos may even make it on-air this season!

Ah, Thursday nights at the Riv.

    * We're launching a redesigned greenandwhite.com, complete with live stats during games and a really cool game recap each week with the game story, photo gallery and video from the postgame interviews. Check it out. We'll celebrate next Wednesday, the 17th, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Reno's East in East Lansing. Stop by for prizes, appetizers, a trivia challenge and a chance to ask questions of me, sports editor Mark Meyer, assistant sports editor Barry Kiel, reporter Chris Solari and hockey writer Neil Koepke. Prizes include tickets to the MSU-Purdue football game.

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Joe Rexrode
MSU Sports Reporter
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